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Travellers to pay more fares as transport cost rises

It is November, the month before one of the most anticipated seasons and eventful period for many, especially the people who live in states other than their native states. It is the time when many families and friends travel to hometowns all around Nigeria. This also means an increase in budgets as the prices of some essential things, like transportation will be more priced on a month-on-month basis as the case may be. This has always been expected with transportation of all kinds, by air, road, and water.

According to a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the average transport fares are rising on monthly basis partly explained by the rising prices of crude oil at the international market. The average fare paid by intercity bus users was N2,588.69 in August 2021. The same fare rose to N2,620.90 in September 2021. The increase in intercity bus fare may be attributed to the summer period where there is higher demand in the transportation services since school children may travel for holidays.

The intercity bus fare charged in August increased by 1.84 percent when compared with the average price in July 2021. The bus fare for intercity movement on a year-on-year basis increased by 20.09 percent in September 2021, as the average price in the nation stood at N2,620.90.

The FCT Abuja, Lagos and Sokoto are the states with the highest intercity bus fares in September. The intercity transport fares were N4,755.62, N3,648.34, and N3,487.02 respectively. The trend seems reasonable since the cities are the major economic centres in the nation, where jobs seekers and traders have more opportunities to earn better wages and salaries.

The states with the lowest intercity bus fares were Bayelsa, at the rate of N1,876.04; Bauchi at N1,930.12 and Akwa Ibom, where N1,983.10 was charged.
The average fare paid by commuters using a bus within the city in September 2021 was N435.36, compared to N430.58 which was the average price in August 2021. That is an increase of 1.15 percent on a month-on-month basis.

The fare paid for motorcycles was averagely at N306.61, resulting to 1.07 per cent increase on the month-on-month basis. The okada fare, as it is popularly referred to, increased on the year-on-year basis by 39.56 per cent after compared to the fare paid same period last year. Within many cities in Nigeria, the use of motorcycles has become more rampant especially in rural communities which are not too developed. Some of the price hike is also as a result of tax and other fees collected from these motorcycle drivers.

These tax collectors are everywhere on Lagos roads. They only hold a marker and stretch hands to cyclists who give them the levies. We can’t say if this is illegal or a legal fee but somehow has caused a hike in transport fares. Sometimes, the fare is called “owo union”, and it is paid at about three times daily especially in the morning, afternoon, and evening. The tricycle, known as keke is also affected by this fare charges.

According to NBS, Lagos is the state with highest motorcycle fare per drop, at an average price of N495.13. Yobe followed at N480.02, and Taraba at N470.12. The states with the lowest fare are Adamawa, Niger and Kaduna having their per drop transport fares at N110.57, N184.72 and N176.15 respectively.
Citizens in urban cities like Lagos, use motorbikes very often. It is fast becoming an important factor for timely movements as the roads are mostly congested by traffic. Places like Ikeja, Ikorodu, Apapa, Ikotun in Lagos are urban areas of the state where the use of motorcycles can be effective.

Read also:Transport fares increase in September as fuel prices stay near flat
Although the fares paid for using these motorcycles may double fare paid to buses, but quite a number of people would not mind spending twice the regular fares so long that they can get to destinations timely, especially on work days.
The fare paid per drop for motorcycle increased from N325.33 in August 2020 to N487.23 in August 2021. This shows a 52.19 percent increase on a year-on-year basis, and 1.62 percent increase on a month-on-month basis.

It is imperative to know that the price of transport systems also affects the logistics market. Many people who move goods and services within the cities and interstates are relatively affected by the growth in transport fares.
An example is a popular restaurant that now charges N500 to convey cooked food to a 2.9km location, which is barely 7 minutes. Ordinarily, this distance costs about N150 by a public motorcyclist. The new fare is 40 per cent higher for the transportation (to and from) but many consumers still do not mind to purchase and use the transport system due to various reasons.

This also stands as one of the reasons why the ban of motorcycles and tricycles which happened in the commercial capital of the nation in Q1 2020 could not be effective for long. There were heavy queues at bus stations, even when additional buses were put in place.
According to reports on the popular microblogging platform, Twitter, many citizens did not find the ban acceptable. There was uproar as many got to work late, maybe some had failed business meetings which mean a downside on revenue and so much more for the economy.

There was an increase in fare paid for water transport system, which rose by 0.08 per cent in September 2021 on a month-on-month basis, and 15.64 per cent on the year-on-year. The fare paid for water transport was higher within the riverine states. These are the regions where water transport system is also popular, and faster for individuals as there are very far away from one another.

Delta, Bayelsa, and Rivers states have the highest water fares. The average fare was N849.06 in September 2021, about N848.36 that was paid in August 2021, and that was higher than N734.26 in September 2020, which was the period the nation was opening up from the lockdown due to Covid-19. The water transport fares in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers were N2560.71, N2510.32, and N2308.20 respectively. The states with the lowest water transport fares were Borno, N265.45; Kebbi, N370.60, and Taraba at N375.39.

The air transport fare has been on a rise since 2020. The average fare paid by air passengers for some specified routes single journey increased by 0.32 per cent on a month-on-month basis.
The Federal Capital Territory Abuja and Edo states have the highest air fare where a journey by air cost N38,700.00; N38,600.00 to Rivers State and to N38,500.00 to Bayelsa State.

There was contraction in air fare to Abia State by 0.42 percent; Gombe by 1.67 percent; Enugu by 4 percent; Jigawa 1.29 per cent, and Cross River by 3.73 per cent. Akwa Ibom, Sokoto and Kaduna states are the states with the lowest air fare by September, 2021, at N33, 200 N33,600 and N35,400 respectively.

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